The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Lithuanian Politicians of all time. This list of famous Lithuanian Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Lithuanian Politicians.
With an HPI of 78.66, Władysław II Jagiełło is the most famous Lithuanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 65 different languages on wikipedia.
Jogaila (Jogaila), later Władysław II Jagiełło (Polish pronunciation: [vwaˈdɨswaf jaˈɡʲɛwːɔ] (listen)) (c. 1352/1362 – 1 June 1434) was the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1377–1434) and then the King of Poland (1386–1434), first alongside his wife Jadwiga until 1399, and then sole King of Poland. He ruled in Lithuania from 1377. Born a pagan, in 1386 he converted to Catholicism and was baptized as Władysław in Kraków, married the young Queen Jadwiga, and was crowned King of Poland as Władysław II Jagiełło. In 1387 he converted Lithuania to Christianity. His own reign in Poland started in 1399, upon the death of King Jadwiga, and lasted a further thirty-five years and laid the foundation for the centuries-long Polish–Lithuanian union. He was a member of the Jagiellonian dynasty in Poland that bears his name and was previously also known as the Gediminid dynasty in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The dynasty ruled both states until 1572, and became one of the most influential dynasties in late medieval and early modern Europe. During his reign, the Polish-Lithuanian state was the largest state in the Christian world.Jogaila was the last pagan ruler of medieval Lithuania. After he became King of Poland, as a result of the Union of Krewo, the newly formed Polish-Lithuanian union confronted the growing power of the Teutonic Knights. The allied victory at the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, followed by the Peace of Thorn, secured the Polish and Lithuanian borders and marked the emergence of the Polish–Lithuanian alliance as a significant force in Europe. The reign of Władysław II Jagiełło extended Polish frontiers and is often considered the beginning of Poland's Golden Age. However it is also known that Jogaila himself knew and spoke in the Lithuanian language with Vytautas the Great.
With an HPI of 78.00, Józef Piłsudski is the 2nd most famous Lithuanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 70 different languages.
Józef Klemens Piłsudski (Polish: [ˈjuzɛf ˈklɛmɛns pʲiwˈsutskʲi] (listen); 5 December 1867 – 12 May 1935) was a Polish statesman who served as the Chief of State (1918–1922) and First Marshal of Poland (from 1920). He was considered the de facto leader (1926–35) of the Second Polish Republic as the Minister of Military Affairs. After World War I, he held great power in Polish politics and was a distinguished figure on the international scene. He is viewed as a father of the Second Polish Republic re-established in 1918, 123 years after the final Partition of Poland by Austria, Prussia and Russia in 1795.Seeing himself as a descendant of the culture and traditions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Piłsudski believed in a multi-ethnic Poland—"a home of nations" including indigenous ethnic and religious minorities he hoped would establish a robust union with the independent states of Lithuania and Ukraine. His principal political opponent, Roman Dmowski, leader of the National Democrat party, by contrast, called for a Poland limited to the pre-Partitions Polish Crown and based mainly on a homogeneous ethnically Polish population and Roman Catholic identity. Early in his political career, Piłsudski became a leader of the Polish Socialist Party. Believing Poland's independence would be won militarily, he formed the Polish Legions. In 1914, he predicted a new major war would defeat the Russian Empire and the Central Powers. After World War I began in 1914, Piłsudski's Legions fought alongside Austria-Hungary against Russia. In 1917, with Russia faring poorly in the war, he withdrew his support for the Central Powers, and was imprisoned in Magdeburg by the Germans. From November 1918, when Poland regained its independence, until 1922, Piłsudski was Poland's Chief of State. In 1919–21 he commanded Polish forces in six border wars that re-defined the country's borders. On the verge of defeat in the Polish–Soviet War in August 1920, his forces threw back the invading Soviet Russians at the Battle of Warsaw. In 1923, with the government dominated by his opponents, in particular the National Democrats, Piłsudski retired from active politics. Three years later he returned to power in the May 1926 coup d'état and became the strongman of the Sanacja regime. From then on until his death in 1935, he concerned himself primarily with military and foreign affairs. It was during this period that he developed a cult of personality that has survived into the 21st century. Some aspects of Piłsudski's administration, such as imprisoning his political opponents at Bereza Kartuska, remain controversial. Yet, he is highly-esteemed in Polish memory and is regarded, together with his chief rival Roman Dmowski, as a founder of the modern independent Poland.
With an HPI of 77.86, Vytautas is the 3rd most famous Lithuanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.
Vytautas (c. 1350 – October 27, 1430), also known as Vytautas the Great (Lithuanian: Vytautas Didysis , Polish: Witold Kiejstutowicz, Witold Aleksander or Witold Wielki Ruthenian: Vitovt, Latin: Alexander Vitoldus, Old German: Wythaws or Wythawt) from the 15th century onwards, was a ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which chiefly encompassed the Lithuanians and Ruthenians. He was also the Prince of Grodno (1370–1382), Prince of Lutsk (1387–1389), and the postulated king of the Hussites.In modern Lithuania, Vytautas is revered as a national hero and was an important figure in the national rebirth in the 19th century. Vytautas is a popular male given name in Lithuania. In commemoration of the 500-year anniversary of his death, Vytautas Magnus University was named after him. Monuments in his honour were built in many towns in the independent Lithuania during the interwar period from 1918 to 1939. It is known that Vytautas himself knew and spoke in the Lithuanian language with Jogaila.
With an HPI of 76.76, Mindaugas is the 4th most famous Lithuanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.
Mindaugas (German: Myndowen, Latin: Mindowe, Old East Slavic: Мендог, Belarusian: Міндоўг, Polish: Mendog, c. 1203–1263) was the first known Grand Duke of Lithuania and the only Christian King of Lithuania. Little is known of his origins, early life, or rise to power; he is mentioned in a 1219 treaty as an elder duke, and in 1236 as the leader of all the Lithuanians. The contemporary and modern sources discussing his ascent mention strategic marriages along with banishment or murder of his rivals. He extended his domain into regions southeast of Lithuania proper during the 1230s and 1240s. In 1250 or 1251, during the course of internal power struggles, he was baptised as a Roman Catholic; this action enabled him to establish an alliance with the Livonian Order, a long-standing antagonist of the Lithuanians. During the summer of 1253 he was crowned King of Lithuania, ruling between 300,000 and 400,000 subjects.While his ten-year reign was marked by various state-building accomplishments, Mindaugas's conflicts with relatives and other dukes continued, and Samogitia (western Lithuania) strongly resisted the alliance's rule. His gains in the southeast were challenged by the Tatars. He broke peace with the Livonian Order in 1261, possibly renouncing Christianity, and was assassinated in 1263 by his nephew Treniota and another rival, Duke Daumantas. His three immediate successors were assassinated as well. The disorder was not resolved until Traidenis gained the title of Grand Duke c. 1270. Although his reputation was unsettled during the following centuries and his descendants were not notable, he gained standing during the 19th and 20th centuries. Mindaugas was the only King of Lithuania; while most of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes from Jogaila onward also reigned as Kings of Poland, the titles remained separate. Now generally considered the founder of the Lithuanian state, he is also now credited with stopping the advance of the Tatars towards the Baltic Sea, establishing international recognition of Lithuania, and turning it towards Western civilization. In the 1990s the historian Edvardas Gudavičius published research supporting an exact coronation date – 6 July 1253. This day is now an official national holiday in Lithuania, Statehood Day.
With an HPI of 76.53, Gediminas is the 5th most famous Lithuanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.
Gediminas (Latin: Gedeminne, Latin: Gedeminnus; c. 1275 – December 1341) was Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1315 or 1316 until his death. He is credited with founding this political entity and expanding its territory which later spanned the area ranging from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Also seen as one of the most significant individuals in early Lithuanian history, he was responsible for both building Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and establishing a dynasty that later came to rule other European countries such as Poland, Hungary and Bohemia. As part of his legacy, he gained a reputation for being a champion of paganism, who successfully diverted attempts to Christianize his country by skillful negotiations with the Pope and other Christian rulers.
With an HPI of 74.82, Algirdas is the 6th most famous Lithuanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.
Algirdas (Belarusian: Альгерд, Альґерд, Alherd, Algierd, Ukrainian: Ольгерд, Ольґерд, Olherd, Olgerd, Polish: Olgierd; c. 1296 – May 1377) was a ruler of medieval Lithuania. He ruled the Lithuanians and Ruthenians from 1345 to 1377. With the help of his brother Kęstutis (who defended the western border of the Duchy) he created an empire stretching from the present Baltic states to the Black Sea and to within fifty miles (eighty kilometers) of Moscow.
With an HPI of 72.21, Kęstutis is the 7th most famous Lithuanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.
Kęstutis (Latin: Kinstut, Lithuanian pronunciation: [kæːsˈtutɪs]; c. 1297 – 3 or 15 August 1382) was a ruler of medieval Lithuania. He was the Duke of Trakai and governed the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, 1342–1382, together with his brother Algirdas (until 1377), and with his nephew Jogaila (until 1381). He ruled over the Lithuanians and Ruthenians. The name "Kęstutis" is a derivative from the old form of the name Kęstas, which is a shortened version of such Lithuanian names as Kęstaras, Kęstautas (there kęs-ti means to cope). Historic writing sources reflect different Lithuanian pronunciation.
With an HPI of 71.54, Antanas Smetona is the 8th most famous Lithuanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.
Antanas Smetona (Lithuanian: [ɐnˈtaːnɐs sʲmʲɛtoːˈnɐ] (listen); 10 August 1874 – 9 January 1944) was one of the most important Lithuanian political figures between World War I and World War II. He served as the first President of Lithuania from 4 April 1919 to 19 June 1920. He again served as the last President of the country from 19 December 1926 to 15 June 1940, before its occupation by the Soviet Union. He was also one of the most prominent ideologists of nationalism in Lithuania.
With an HPI of 71.40, Valdas Adamkus is the 9th most famous Lithuanian Politician. His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.
Valdas Adamkus ([ˈvɐ̂ˑɫdɐs ɐˈdɐmˑkʊs] (listen); born Voldemaras Adamkavičius; 3 November 1926) is a Lithuanian politician. He was the President of Lithuania from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2004 to 2009. In Lithuania, the President's tenure lasts for five years; Adamkus' first term in office began on 26 February 1998 and ended on 28 February 2003, following his defeat by Rolandas Paksas in the next presidential election. Paksas was later impeached and removed from office by a parliamentary vote on 6 April 2004. Soon afterwards, when a new election was announced, Adamkus again ran for president and was re-elected. His approval ratings were high and he was regarded as a moral authority in the state. He was succeeded as the president on 12 July 2009 by Dalia Grybauskaitė. He is considered by some being the best President of Lithuania in modern history. He is married to Alma Adamkienė, who is involved in charitable activities in Lithuania. Following the end of his term as president, Adamkus remained involved in international development, and is a member of the European Academy of Diplomacy.
With an HPI of 70.58, Dalia Grybauskaitė is the 10th most famous Lithuanian Politician. Her biography has been translated into 71 different languages.
Dalia Grybauskaitė (Lithuanian pronunciation: [dɐˈlʲɛ ɡʲrʲiːbɐʊsˈkɐ̂ˑɪtʲeː]; born 1 March 1956) is a Lithuanian politician who served as the eighth President of Lithuania from 2009 until 2019. She is the first woman to hold the position and became in 2014 the first President of Lithuania to be reelected for a second consecutive term.Grybauskaitė has served as Minister of Finance, as well as European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget from 2004 to 2009. She is often referred to as the "Iron Lady" or the "Steel Magnolia".
Pantheon has 50 people classified as politicians born between 1203 and 1974. Of these 50, 20 (40.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Valdas Adamkus, Dalia Grybauskaitė, and Vytautas Landsbergis. The most famous deceased politicians include Władysław II Jagiełło, Józef Piłsudski, and Vytautas. As of October 2020, 8 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Morta, Grigory Gershuni, and Aharon Barak.
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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 18 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.